THE founder of a website that has taken on global names while promoting independent crafters has been saluted at the House of Lords.

Susan Bonnar set up the British Craft House and has seen it become an emerging competitor to famous sites such as Etsy, Not on the High Street and Amazon Handmade.

The entrepreneur, from Lee-on-the-Solent, was invited to a reception at the House of Lords in an event hosted by the Small Business Saturday campaign in partnership with principal supporter American Express.

The British Craft House was named a SmallBiz100 company last year, in recognition of its rapid growth.

Guests at the House Lords event met small business minister Paul Scully ahead of Small Business Saturday at the weekend. Last year saw an estimated £1.1billion spent with small businesses on the day itself.

Small Business Saturday, in its ninth year, celebrates small business success and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ and support businesses in their communities. This year it called on the nation to share a “big thank you” with small firms to recognise their vital role during the pandemic.

Michelle Ovens, director of Small Business Saturday UK, said: “Hosting this special event at the House of Lords for amazing businesses like the British Craft House felt like the best way to say a big thank you for their incredible effort and contribution over these past tough couple of years.

“They can be really proud of everything they’ve achieved, and we hope the afternoon was a positive way to draw 2021 to a close.”

Small Business Minister Paul Scully said: “From the pubs, restaurants and shops that make our high streets tick, to leisure and personal care services – like the hairdresser who saved my post-lockdown blushes last year – small businesses are at the heart of our way of life. I urge everyone to shop safely and back their local businesses.”

The British Craft House marked Small Business Saturday by encouraging sellers on its platforms to shout about their own achievements and about local businesses they support.

Dan Edelman from American Express said: “It’s so important that we all continue to support our favourite independents on Small Business Saturday and beyond, and we’re proud to play our part through our own Shop Small campaign and as principal supporter of Small Business Saturday.”